Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Bras and Breast Cancer


I bet you weren't execting to see a blog post about bras and breast cancer here but I saw this article and thought it was important to pass on the information and let you decide for yourself. There are so many articles for and against but I think it is good for us to be aware that the debate is on and what the two sides to the story are.

A separate article to the one below also stated that wearing bras that are too tight cuts off the flow of lymphatic fluid through the breast area and drastically elevates breast cancer risk. This is why you really need to get fitted properly for your right size.

So are bras good or bad for you lets's see the two arguments.

Argument that bras are not good for you:

Bras and Breast Cancer
by Ralph L. Reed, Ph.D.

Although I am an environmental chemist (Ph.D. in biochemistry), I have been doing a lot of literature research on breast cancer since I saw an article on the National Library of Medicine database over a year ago. That article documented an increase in breast cancer rates between women who do wear bras versus those that do not.

That Harvard study fascinated me and I searched the medical literature for possible explanations. In January 1996, I discovered the book by Singer and Grismaijer and their explanation of impaired lymphatic flow intrigued me. I have since read everything that I can find on lymphatic flow.

What I have found has amazed me, but that is another story. I can supply you with lots of info if you like. In essence, what Singer and Grismaijer found was that the odds of getting breast cancer dramatically increased with bra-wearing over 12 hours per day.

* Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer (in their study, n=2056 for the cancer group and n=2674 for the standard group).

* Women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed had a 1 out of 7 risk.

* Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 152 risk.

* Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer. The overall difference between 24 hour wearing and not at all was a 125-fold difference.

Now let's hear the otherside of the story.

Argument that bras don't cause you any harm:

Bras and Breast Cancer
by Sarah Treleaven

For over a decade, there have been rumours of a connection between the wearing of bras and the prevalence of breast cancer. Some of the rumours allege that women who wear bras are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than those who forgo bras.

Underwire has also been blamed as a culprit, with allegations that the wire prevents lymphatic drainage and traps potentially fatal toxins in the breast tissue. Some sites have even alleged that the connection between bras and cancer is much stronger than the connection between smoking and cancer.

While most of us are wise enough to be dubious about many of the things we read online, some of the information has come from seemingly credible sources. This week, The New York Times article "Q&A: Bras and Cancer" asked Dr. Ted Gansler, director of medical content for the American Cancer Society to respond to the rumour.

So, is there a connection between bras and breast cancer?

According to Dr. Gansler, "the short answer is no." He says that there is no credible scientific evidence to support claims that bras result in the accumulation of toxins within breast tissue -- and that such a claim doesn't jive with known concepts of how breast cancer develops.

(Though the lack of any definitive scientific pursuit of this connection probably won't help to dispel rumours.) Even more, when the National Cancer Institute studied women with blocked lymph drainage (as a result of the removal of underarm lymph nodes), they found that breast cancer rates were not detectably raised for this group.

Dr. Gansler says that the idea of bras causing breast cancer is so scientifically implausible that the theory will likely never by put to the test in a real epidemiological study.

So what do you think? Have you heard this bras and breast cancer rumour and did you believe it? Do you think it's worth exploring further?

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